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What Are Puddles? The Health Risks And Hazards

city water puddle | what are puddles

What are puddles, and why are they so important? While puddles seem like a normal part of everyday life, some dangers are associated with them. These pools of water have specific health, safety, and property risks people should be aware of. 


What Are Puddles?

Many people often encounter puddles in day-to-day life, especially during the rainy season, but what are puddles exactly? Puddles are pools of liquid or standing water on the floor or ground. They often consist of murky water or mud as the surrounding sediment is dissolved or disturbed. 


These pools of water can be small or large. Moreover, they are generally shallow enough to walk on. However, deeper puddles can also form and are more dangerous. In addition, how long puddles last can vary from situation to situation. Some puddles are long-lasting and can linger for a week. Meanwhile, others can dissipate after a few hours or in a day or two. 


How Are Puddles Formed?

In natural landscapes, puddles do not always result from the rain. Some puddles are indicative of a deep spring or seep. Regardless of the source, however, puddles offer a source of water for wildlife and can help plants grow. They may also play a vital role in specific habitats. 


On the other hand, this is not the case for puddles that form on man made surfaces. When there are puddles on parking lot surfaces, roads, or sidewalks, this is usually a result of rain. They often form when the rainfall is heavy. 


Furthermore, they often form in potholes on roads or on uneven surfaces. They can also form by surface tension on flat surfaces. These potholes can be a result of many different things. For example, the indentations may be left by large equipment or vehicles passing by. They can also be a result of erosion and poorly compacted asphalt.


Apart from these, puddles also form at the edges of the side of the road. This is because roads are often angled, so gravity forces the water to pool on the edges. While drainage systems are in place to reduce puddles, they can still form when there are clogs. 


Aside from roads, puddles may also form on private property. They can develop when drains clog or if the drainage system is poor. Moreover, they can also form when there’s a water leak somewhere nearby. 


What Are the Hazards and Health Risks of Puddles?

Mud puddles on dirt roads or ponding water on concrete and asphalt carry certain health risks. What are these dangers? Here are some you should be wary of.


1. Bacteria

Bacteria can breed and grow in many different moist environments. Many bacteria are dangerous to people and animals. Of course, drinking standing water from puddles will undoubtedly land you a trip to the doctor. However, there are times when even simply touching standing water can lead to illness. 


This means that pedestrians are at risk when cars are driving through puddles. They are especially vulnerable when they have open wounds or sores. These wounds can become infected if the puddle has bacteria. 


2. Mold

Puddles foster an environment that allows mold to grow and thrive. Mold forms particularly in enclosed environments like the inside of private property. When mold grows, it gives off a pungent odor. Some types also pose health hazards. 


Apart from health hazards, mold growth can be costly. That’s because remediation is a complicated process. Property owners will need professional help, which can be expensive. It’s best to prevent mold from growing altogether.


3. Insects

When puddles form and stand for a long time, they can attract insects like mosquitoes. Standing water allows mosquitoes to breed. They can quickly become an annoyance or, even worse, carry deadly diseases like malaria. 


4. Vermin

Standing water can attract rats, mice, possums, and other vermin. That’s because these animals are always looking for sources of water. This can lead to an unwanted infestation. They may also carry diseases and spread waste, putting people’s health at risk.


5. Chemical Hazards

Flooding is common when there’s heavy rainfall. The drainage system might not be able to handle the influx of water. In these cases, puddles that form after the fact may carry chemical hazards. They may carry chemicals from animal feces, fertilizer, and other waste. 


These chemical hazards can be just as bad as bacteria. They can cause diseases or irritate the skin in various ways. Even if people try to avoid coming into contact with these puddles, a vehicle that will drive through standing water may still expose pedestrians. 


6. Accidents and Injuries

Puddles often pose a safety hazard to both pedestrians and vehicles. People can slip, fall, and injure themselves. Meanwhile, cars can go out of control and cause an accident. Puddles are especially dangerous during colder seasons as they can form ice patches. 


7. Vehicular Damage

Puddles may damage cars if the water gets into the car’s components. For example, if the rotors are hot, they can become warped when exposed to water. This can damage the brakes and even cause them to fail. 


Furthermore, if water seeps into the car, it can ruin the carpets, foam, and upholstery. Computers underneath the seats and floorboards may also stop working, causing various electrical issues. 


8. Erosion and Potholes

When puddles form on flat or uneven surfaces, this can erode the sediment and form potholes. Damages to the asphalt or concrete may be costly to repair. However, not availing of puddle repair services will make the problem bigger and more expensive.


Moreover, potholes pose a hazard to vehicles and pedestrians. These can damage the wheels, alignment, and exhaust systems of vehicles. Driving through them might also cause impact pain and internal injuries. Meanwhile, pedestrians can trip and sue property owners for liability. 


Apart from this, puddles and potholes can create a vicious, never-ending cycle. When potholes develop, they encourage more puddles to form every time it rains. These puddles erode the surface even more and cause bigger or more potholes. 


Protecting Health, Safety, and Property

What are puddles? Now that we’ve answered this question and understood its dangers, resolving any puddling issues is important. Maintain and repair your property to avoid these health, safety, and property hazards. 


Preventing puddles and potholes from forming takes professional help. If you need assistance, don’t hesitate to ask for our services. Call us today at 704-227-0468 or contact us online for repairs and maintenance services in North and South Carolina!